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Animal ethics

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The treatment of non-human animals by humans is a changing ideal. From before written history to the present the interspecies relationship is a complex one. A Yale study group is researching the moral and theoretical behavior of man to other animals.

Prehistory reveals animals that lived with humans were more wild than domestic as they are today. The hunter had to kill their prey swiftly or they themselves would become injured which could have led to death. Today the food processing is a mass industry with hundreds of animals being slaughtered within minutes. It is not their deaths but how they are treated before they are slaughtered.

Today dogs hunt by their humans’ side to retrieve fallen prey. People on horseback run packs of dogs to follow scent trails. Hounds track prey as men follow on foot.

Modern society has now developed an industry of animals trained to entertain people. Dog racing is a major sport in the United States. The circus has many species of animals trained to do various tricks. Horse racing is an event that has been developed throughout the centuries.

Presently, wild animals are endangered because humans have taken over much of their natural habitat. The desire for souvenirs, medicinal remedies and pets has contributed to the decline of many species.

Animals are used in science. They have been sent to space, used for experiments and submitted to testing.

Milwaukeeans can view many exhibits of man and animals at the Milwaukee Public Museum.

It is important that the human animal understand their relationship to other species that share this planet.

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